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Stick that in your clipboards and paste it, you so-called "lazy journalists"!

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Sunday, December 10, 2006

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Who will observe the Taiwan observers?

Watching the watchers

Whether it's used about Taiwan or not, I'm sick and tired of the vague and potentially dishonest "some people say" formulation that keeps appearing in articles by so-called professional reporters. It's already been used multiple times by international media outlets with regard to yesterday's elections in Taiwan.

Who, Maddog, who?! And where and why?!
In yet another BBC piece about Taiwan which dares not bear a byline (yet which "quotes" Caroline Gluck), you can read this nonsense:
A BBC correspondent says the result is not the crushing blow some had expected the government to suffer. The vote was seen as a key test for the government.
"[S]een" by whom? "[E]xpected" by whom? The nameless writer won't tell us the answer to either of these questions, probably because the BBC works hand-in-hand with pro-blue, pro-China CTiTV, and the pan-blue media was exactly who "expected" (meaning "hoped to achieve by saying it again and again") a "crushing blow."

If that's not enough nonsense for you, read this bit from the same article:
The electoral campaign was tightly fought and involved national as well as local issues, according to the BBC's Caroline Gluck in Taipei.

Mayors are powerful in Taiwan, and the post in Taipei is seen as a stepping stone for presidential hopefuls.
"[S]een" by whom? Is there an echo in here? There will be, as long as Gluck (quoting herself?) and the BBC keep dishing us this muck. That meme (an obvious attempt to make current Taipei mayor Ma Ying-jeou the next president) must be destroyed. In all three of the elections in which the people of Taiwan got to choose their president, they not only chose former Taipei mayors -- they chose pro-independence candidates who were born in Taiwan who were running against unificationists born in China. Stick that in your meme folder, and paste it!

See for yourself
Below, you can view two clips from Saturday night's Talking Show (大話新聞) which reveal the similarities and differences between pan-green media surveys (Liberty Times [自由時報]), pan-blue media surveys (China Times [中國時報] and United Daily News [聯合報]), and the actual election results. [UPDATE: While both videos use Mandarin and Taiwanese, I've added basic English translations on the YouTube pages where the videos are hosted. Click "(more)" in the description to the right of each video there to read them in full.]



0'33" YouTube video: "Pan-blue media surveys about Taipei election all wrong"




1'30" YouTube video: "Pan-blue media surveys about Kaohsiung election all wrong"


You make this dog mad, Grauwels
AP correspondent Stephan Grauwels rehashes the same bland recipe for saying whatever the reporter wants to say:
TAIPEI, Taiwan – Taiwan's ruling party narrowly won a crucial mayoral election in one southern city Saturday, while the opposition candidate won comfortably in the capital of Taipei in a pair of votes seen by many as a referendum for President Chen Shui-bian.
"[S]een" by whom? Indeed, there is an echo in here, but it's because there are way too many of them in the international media. If they do it enough, when you Google it, it will seem to be true, but if you follow the links, you'll just be going in circles without ever finding out who -- outside of the media -- has "seen" these things. Don't be fooled by this classic propaganda trick.

Today's Taipei Times has the decency to at least answer the question which should be on readers' minds, that being, "Who are these nebulous 'seers'?":
Although many observers, especially in the international media, were depicting the poll as a "referendum" on the president and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), this was clearly not the case, as the election maintained the current balance of power in the cities' mayorships and city councils. The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) retained its hold on the Taipei mayorship, while the DPP's candidate won in Kaohsiung.
Note equally that the Taipei Times has the decency to tell us -- every time they write about them -- that the full name of the "Nationalists" mentioned five times by Grauwels in his piece (without even once using the clarifying adjective in front) is the "Chinese Nationalist Party" (KMT). Don't you forget it.

Meta-watch
"And who are the overseers of Taiwan Matters?" you may ask. The answer, according to media watcher Tim Maddog (referring to himself as if someone else wrote this), would be "You!" Follow the links. Question everything -- especially this!

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Cross-posted at It's Not Democracy, It's A Conspiracy!

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